Historic American Engineering Record: Tempe Canal, South Side of Salt River, Tempe, Mesa and Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona

Author(s): Fred Andersen

Year: 1989


Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. AZ-16 presents a written historical summary and relevant historical documentation about the construction and use of the Tempe Canal, which provides irrigation waters to the Southeast valley cities of Tempe, Mesa, and Chandler, Arizona. The report contains a narrative description, photographs, drawings, and maps.

The Tempe Canal is likely the oldest canal that is still in use in the Salt River Valley. Moreover, the Tempe Canal Company was the last independent canal company in the valley to join the Salt River Project. The canal is also associated with the early history of hyrdopower projects in the valley. The waterways involvement in power generation began in 1874 with the Hayden Mill, and ended with the closure of the Chandler Falls Hydroelectric Plant in 1952.

The construction of Tempe Canal began in 1871, with extensions and improvements continuing through 1887. The Tempe Crosscut Canal and Chandler Falls were built in approximately 1894. The construction and modification of drainage works, pumping plants, and other infrastructure started in 1905 and continues to the present day.

Cite this Record

Historic American Engineering Record: Tempe Canal, South Side of Salt River, Tempe, Mesa and Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona. Fred Andersen. 1989 ( tDAR id: 393161) ; doi:10.6067/XCV88S4R0T

Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1894 to 1895 (construction of Chandler Falls)

Calendar Date: 1905 to 1989 (use of and modifications to the Tempe Canal)

Calendar Date: 1871 to 1887 (original construction and extension of Tempe Canal)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -111.893; min lat: 33.365 ; max long: -111.691; max lat: 33.515 ;

Record Identifiers

Historic American Engineering Record No.(s): AZ-16

NADB document id number(s): 2202021

NADB citation id number(s): 000000166125


Redaction Note: Sensitive information has been removed from the publicly accessible digital copy of this report. The following appendix (and figures) have been redacted: Appendix I (Figures AZ-16-53 through AZ-16-70). Please contact the archaeologist at the USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix Area Office to obtain a complete digital copy of the report.

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
HAER-No-AZ-16_Tempe_Canal_South_Side_Salt_River_REDACTED.pdf 7.69mb Mar 12, 2015 10:33:03 AM Public